You are invited to a special event on Saturday, September 28, including a vegan food tasting from 4:30 to 5:15 pm, a free screening of the documentary by Thomas Jackson, “A Prayer for Compassion” from 5:25 to 6:45 pm, and a Q&A session hosted by Arvind Thomas.
Come see a film that focuses on our spiritual connection to animals though the lens of the world’s religions. The film focuses on our innate merciful love for animals, and how we may honor that relationship through our consumer habits. This film has the power to transform hearts.
A Testimonial by Sarah Robson:
For me, food has always represented comfort; it meant feasting and social celebrations, cake and ice-cream, and big turkey dinners. Yet because of the efforts of very outspoken animal rights organizations, I intellectually knew what had been happening behind closed doors. So, I did what is currently socially acceptable — I made a conscious decision to turn a blind eye. This probably sounds familiar.
Choosing to turn my back on suffering was itself an internal form of suffering that I simply accepted — a tradeoff through which I consumed soothing feel-good meals at the expense of the animals who suffered greatly from their moment of birth. As a person who calls herself spiritual, I was aware that my appetite tore a big hole in my life, to the point where I felt internal shame. I was not who I wanted to be, but I didn’t know how to turn myself around. The transformation seemed too daunting.
A few months ago, thanks to Amy Lacombe, I was invited to see a screening of “A Prayer for Compassion” at All Vegan Organic (AVO) Café at Pico and 4th just next door to the Animal Kingdom store. The film highlights the sacred bond between humankind and animals. It features dialogues with representatives of all the world’s major religions — and then a few more! The film also features the relationship between the director and his young daughter as they explore their love for animals.
The film’s content caused me to stop and ponder. What I choose to do, especially habitually, does define who I am. It absolutely impacts my spiritual life, as well as my psychological wellbeing. I broadened my view considerably as I watched, and I considered my place within the cycle of life. As it is said, with great power comes great responsibility. This was a transformation of not just my intellect, but, more importantly, of my heart.
So, just a few weeks before the traditional day of “The Blessing of the Animals,” allow me to roll out the welcome mat to all those who are curious and open to new ideas, and who may not think that they can change old habits. You may be surprised.
And yes—the film does contain a little hard content which may be unsuitable for small children, but unlike many exposé films, that is not the primary focus. The footage is necessary to make the larger point – we can enjoy a new freedom in discovering and reclaiming our natural love and respect for animals, finding ourselves whole and integral, and living in alignment with our innate instinct (and our UU values) for showering loving mercy upon the afflicted.